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Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic (DOS)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
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Written by  :  Kasey Chang (3654)
Written on  :  Aug 13, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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Summary

A lot of RPG for its days, even if it is a bit repetitive

The Good

Good graphics for its days, good sound for its days (if you got the right hardware), decent action in space, on ground, and in tunnels, lots of enemies and weapons, some decent plot twists

The Bad

Not a lot of clues on what to do, initial scenarios are quite hard without much clue on what to do, paragraph book gave away half of the plot (you have to figure out which ones are real though)

The Bottom Line

Sentinel Worlds is an RPG that broke ground for its melding of multiple planes of action. There is action in space, on the ground in vehicle, or on foot in either space ship-boarding action or on the ground in close-quarters combat. Combined with plenty of character development and some decent writing with twists, and you got yourself a grand adventure.

The story starts simple enough... A bunch of raiders are plundering ships left and right in the sector. No one really knows where they are based out of. It's almost impossible to capture any raider alive, much less get one of their ships intact. You and a fleet of other gunboats have been sent in to help.

You are dropped in the middle of the action... A bunch of raiders are attacking a convoy. You can either join in the defense of the convoy, or strike out on your own. It doesn't really matter. With your default weapons and equipment on your ship, you'ld likely take a bit of damage, and your boarding party won't do much against the hardened raiders... yet.

From there on, you can land on any of the major planets in the system by engaging your hyperdrive. You can even land on any spot you choose on the landmass... Though interesting spots (read: inhabited) would be few and far in between. Still, there may be some special shops in the middle of nowhere that you'd never find unless you know where to go.

Once you set out on foot, you can engage locals (if any) in conversations, or take them on with weapons (hand to hand, and large variety of guns, from ammo to energy). Conversations are via menus and are relatively short, with long paragraphs left in the paragraph book.

It may be a while before you can accumulate enough cash to upgrade your ship and your weapons/armor so you can take on the raiders. When you do so, you will find that raider ships usually contain a very valuable item worth quite a bit of credits if you have enough time to recover it before their self-destruct kicks in, and that will fund your upgrades quite nicely.

You will encounter inhabitants of the planets, old and new. You will explore quite a bit of caves and such. You will fight various types of enemies, from unarmed animals to extremely heavily armed super-raiders. In some locations, you can also go to various "enhancement facilities" to improve the stats on your characters (in addition to the level gains) for an exorbitant fee.

In the end, you'll locate your nemesis, find the root cause of all the raiders, and learn a new form of combat, and defeat your nemesis for once and all. But before that, you'll solve some land disputes, perform a first contact scenario, and lots of other things to do.

The graphics are pretty crisp for its time, though the actual combat is limited to colored dots and lines, with some sound effects. Locations are varied with a lot of land to explore. The mazes, however, are quite boring.

All in all, Sentinel Worlds is an achievement in its days (all on 2 720K floppies, with room for your own saved games!) that provided a lot of freedom to approach the problem as well as a coherent plot.